BMW’s new X3 has been spied undergoing winter testing in Sweden.
The pictures show the car in more detail than ever before, confirming that the new BMW X3 is far bigger and bulkier than the current model.
The BMW X1 has, in effect, replaced the current X3, so the new X3 will grow in size to fit between the X1 and X5. Our spies have previously told us it has similar proportions to those of a Range Rover Sport.
The next 3-series is lending its architecture to the X3, which should only be available with four-wheel drive. Its wheelbase will be around 2900mm. The increase in dimensions will help answer one of the biggest criticisms of the original X3: its lack of rear seat legroom and poor access to the back seats.
The controversial “flame surfacing” styling of the old X3 is absent, replaced with more conservative bodywork. The model will be produced in BMW’s Spartanburg plant in America, alongside the X5 and X6.
The car, codenamed F25, is understood to be retaining largely road car mechanicals instead of heavy-duty SUV hardware, with the focus on driving dynamics. BMW has always been serious about making its SUVs handle like the rest of the range on asphalt, and the new X3 has undergone extensive testing at the Nurburgring.
The X3 is expected to be slightly more aerodynamic than the outgoing model, with a number of clever aero tweaks to the underside of the car, and flaps and intakes to direct air flow.
Despite the new car's larger dimensions, four-cylinder diesels will continue to be offered in its line-up, alongside six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines. The revised 2.0d with eight-speed ZF auto 'box is expected to continue as the biggest seller.
The new X3 is expected to reach UK showrooms in October, with prices starting at around £35,000.